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  1. Abstract

    We observe the brightest member of the Praesepe cluster,ϵCnc, to precisely measure the characteristics of the stars in this binary system, en route to a new measurement of the cluster’s age. We present spectroscopic radial velocity measurements and interferometric observations of the sky-projected orbit to derive the masses, which we find to beM1/M= 2.420 ± 0.008 andM2/M= 2.226 ± 0.004. We place limits on the color–magnitude positions of the stars by using spectroscopic and interferometric luminosity ratios while trying to reproduce the spectral energy distribution ofϵCnc. We reexamine the cluster membership of stars at the bright end of the color–magnitude diagram using Gaia data and literature radial velocity information. The binary star data are consistent with an age of 637 ± 19 Myr, as determined from MIST model isochrones. The masses and luminosities of the stars appear to select models with the most commonly used amount of convective core overshooting.

  2. Context. FU Orionis is the archetypal FUor star, a subclass of young stellar objects (YSOs) that undergo rapid brightening events, often gaining between four and six magnitudes on timescales of days. This brightening is often associated with a massive increase in accretion, which is one of the most ubiquitous processes in astrophysics for bodies ranging from planets and stars to super-massive black holes. We present multi-band interferometric observations of the FU Ori circumstellar environment, including the first J -band interferometric observations of a YSO. Aims. We investigate the morphology and temperature gradient of the innermost regions of the accretion disk around FU Orionis. We aim to characterise the heating mechanisms of the disk and comment on potential outburst-triggering processes. Methods. Recent upgrades to the MIRC-X instrument at the CHARA array have allowed for the first dual-band J and H observations of YSOs. Using baselines up to 331 m, we present high-angular-resolution data of a YSO covering the near-infrared bands J , H , and K . The unprecedented spectral range of the data allowed us to apply temperature gradient models to the innermost regions of FU Ori. Results. We spatially resolved the innermost astronomical unit of the disk and determinemore »the exponent of the temperature gradient of the inner disk to T ∝ r −0.74 ± 0.02 . This agrees with theoretical works that predict T ∝ r −0.75 for actively accreting, steady-state disks, which is a value only obtainable through viscous heating within the disk. We found a disk that extends down to the stellar surface at 0.015 ± 0.007 au, where the temperature is found to be 5800 ± 700 K. We found a disk inclined at 32 ± 4° with a minor-axis position angle of 34 ± 11°. Conclusions. We demonstrate that J -band interferometric observations of YSOs are feasible with the MIRC-X instrument at CHARA. The temperature gradient power-law derived for the inner disk is consistent with theoretical predictions for steady-state, optically thick, viciously heated accretion disks.« less
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  4. Mérand, Antoine ; Sallum, Stephanie ; Tuthill, Peter G. (Ed.)
    We present a new polarimetric mode for the MIRC-X 6-telescope beam combiner at CHARA. Utilizing the extensive u - v coverage afforded by CHARA this mode will be able to resolve and constrain scattered light in environs at milliarcsecond separations of target stars, a largely unexplored parameter space to-date in astronomy. Notably, this upgrade will allow for the investigation of the scattering properties of the inner dust wall at the sublimation radius of Herbig Ae/Be star disks, dust shells surrounding evolved stars, and gas-rich disks around Be stars. Our design adds a series of rotating half-wave plates, achromatic across J- and H-bands, and a polarizing beamsplitter into the MIRC-X beam path. In this work, we also preview on-sky observations, discussing ongoing work calibrating instrumental polarization effects in the CHARA beam path as well as upgrades to the MIRC-X data reduction pipeline.
  5. Young stars are surrounded by a circumstellar disk of gas and dust, within which planet formation can occur. Gravitational forces in multiple star systems can disrupt the disk. Theoretical models predict that if the disk is misaligned with the orbital plane of the stars, the disk should warp and break into precessing rings, a phenomenon known as disk tearing. We present observations of the triple-star system GW Orionis, finding evidence for disk tearing. Our images show an eccentric ring that is misaligned with the orbital planes and the outer disk. The ring casts shadows on a strongly warped intermediate region of the disk. If planets can form within the warped disk, disk tearing could provide a mechanism for forming wide-separation planets on oblique orbits.